Many (Tangential) Talking Points: RBNY v. Chicago

As noted below (no need for pingbacks; just scroll down for the good stuff), I hadn’t intended to post the notes I scrawled through one closed eye while watching New York edge the Chicago Fire 1-0. But since it contained a couple Big Picture, Major League Soccer (MLS)-wide talking point that bubbled up as I watched, it seemed worth passing on to the curious. A personal favorite came in the 35th minute, when I concluded that Cuauhtemoc Blanco is better for the league long-term than David Beckham: he brings this whole pro-wrestling villain vibe to games – just awesome to watch.

There are many more besides, good, conversation/argument-starting talking points (like the one on Osorio coming to coach). Enjoy.

Here goes…and, as always, I’m not promising coherence and anything not lifted from my notes verbatim appears in parentheses:

– Ah. That’s why John Wolyniec is in; no (Josmer) Altidore (yep, I missed the starting line-ups again. For the record, I started taking notes only around the 8th minute; as such, the next few lines represent me catching up).

– Yeah, I’m pulling for Red Bull. (This became apparent only after I started watching; it comes by way of disclosure and is relevant because I’m typically harder on the team I’m pulling for.)

– Christ, the football lines are UGLY.

– Gonzalo Segares: the most under-rated, underpaid player in MLS? At least formerly?

– Damn…I say this every time, but, damn, (Dane) Richards is fast.

9th/10th minute: Ah, Wolyniec heading off? Short start, eh? Nope, scratch that…he’s up and running (If I recall, Woly took a hard shot to the bottom of the foot and stayed down for a bit).

– RBNY looks comfortable; not getting through, but in control.

12th: Damn! Didn’t know Woly had that much leg. (This commented on Wolyniec receiving the ball about 40 yards out, turning, and, after a short run, ripping the ball toward Chicago’s goal.)

– Woly getting beat down….damn (Wolyniec got knocked down again; I think this was the clash of heads.)

– (Bakary) Soumare is a great cover player for Blanco (does look like a promising pairing; the kid is hard as nails and can move.)

– Whoops…I just noticed Claudio Reyna in the same role as last week (e.g. playing and distributing from deep in NY’s half.)

– I still think Chicago will win; it’ll be like the New England game (e.g. featuring a crazy/fluky Mendes-past-Conway goal).

– Cuauhtemoc Blanco will be grand marshall of some kind of Mexican pride parade…just classic.

18th: Blanco just pulled off a 20-yard, blind, over-the-shoulder pass…holy nuts! Shame Chris Armas squandered it.

– Is Chicago just a team of defensive midfielders?

– I’m so, SO pleased Clint Mathis wears #13; that’s my number when I can get it. He is like a bad penny.

– NY loves the flanks tonight; not doing jack for them, but not for lack of trying.


31st: I love hearing JP Dellacamera dis David Beckham through comparison with Blanco. He’s right, though, the Mexican can do more.

33rd: NY’s crossing still not there.

– NY’s back-line holding a high line and well. It’s killing Chicago.

35th: My first Blanco dive (e.g. I had just witnessed it). Good booing…he’s better than Beckham (in that) he brings this great pro-wrestling vibe (explained way above).

– Look who Osorio brought into the league (e.g. Blanco, Paolo Wanchope); that’s reason enough to justify signing foreign coaches.

– (NY’s) Richards really needs to work on cutting inside (this would add so much to his game, with his crossing being as it is).

– Is it a coincidence I feel like I’m watching the Nats (e.g. the U.S. Men’s National Team)? NY is doing everything well but attacking.

42nd: 2nd Blanco dive.  The question is, do I have a shot to commemorate this in some way? Is that wise? No, no, the wicked device that is my brain could devise a half-dozen drinking games built around the particulars of all thirteen teams.


– (Juan Pablo) Angel can’t let things go (he and Armas got into a cheap-shot exchange and Angel went ballastic); he and Armas snarl.  (This raises the possibility for the opposition to get under Angel’s skin; a guy like Eddie Robinson seems made for the role.)

51st: NY still doing well to choke off Chicago(‘s attack).

52nd: Angel blows a great chance; Chicago having trouble with Richards.

– Soumare is hard as shit after eating a whole baguette.

– I’d trade for and adequately pay Segares on principle.

– I still don’t entirely “get” Chris Rolfe…he just came off.

60th: (Shep) Messing might have said it (so credit him), but Chicago look comfortable.  NY is the better team, but they don’t look like winners.

– Calen Carr has a little of “Sneaky” Pete Marino in him.  That he’s not all that red-hot a player demonstrates the extent to which MLS has evolved on the defensive side (e.g. Marino was able to do pretty well in MLS a decade ago; Carr less so).

63rd: (Francis) Doe on for Woly. What took so long?

– Add consistent crossing to Richards’ game and he’s magic.

– (Catching up): Ivan Guerrero out for Chicago…injury doesn’t look good either.  HUGE loss for the Fire.

69th: Leitch takes a long shot; not bad, but it shows what Chicago is doing right; plenty of defenders back, hard to breakdown.

– Doe looks good; huge improvement; should start under Jozy Altidore.

– The good players – Blanco, Reyna, even Mathis, etc. – they hold the ball so well; (this means less spazzing and more thought goes into their passes, which makes them more effective on several levels).

GOAL!!  Angel scores!  (Damn, did this catch me off-guard!)  Nice ball by Richards (who was running up the middle – and who rode a tackle) to set it up.  The peeps are right; Angel was a good signing.  Looks like a Red Bull win now; they just have to hold, do what they’ve done all night.

82nd: Mad scramble in the NY area; accidental handball; Osorio freaks.

– Blanco chased ball in the 92nd minute.  What more could one want from an allegedly over-the-hill Mexican.  (That’s another way of saying I, like quite a few others, was totally wrong about the Blanco signing.)


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